PhD in Business

Develop expertise and conduct impactful research that will shape businesses and organizations with a PhD in business from the Costello College of Business at George Mason University.

George Mason University's PhD in business ensures a thorough understanding of how to conduct research to create new knowledge in the field of business, how to apply that knowledge in service to businesses and organizations, and how to teach others to apply that knowledge themselves.

Under the guidance of our esteemed faculty, you’ll be exposed to a broad, multi-disciplinary approach to research, writing, and teaching across the sub-disciplines of business. Our goal is to foster graduates who understand that academia can improve and positively impact the business world.  At every step of the program, we work with you to bring out your passions and interests while providing you with world-class training. 

Contact us at if you are interested in one of our program concentrations.

Program Highlights

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Fall Start Only
Admission is only offered for the fall semester.
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72 Credit Hours
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AACSB Accredited
We are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
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Research Intensive
Conduct research to create new knowledge in the field of business.
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Funding for up to five years
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Strategic Location
Take in-person classes at our main campus in Fairfax, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.

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Mason’s PhD in business degree program is a 72-credit hour degree program consisting of five main areas: 

Core (15 credit hours)

The focus of this coursework is to build skills in the core areas of faculty work—research, writing, and teaching. Core courses emphasize the applicability of research by training you to write for academic and non-academic audiences. Coursework stresses the connection with business, as you will be required to engage with real-world business to conduct research projects. Core courses ensure teaching effectiveness by allocating time for learning effective techniques for teaching within business schools.  

Concentration (12 credit hours)

Accepted students must choose from the following concentrations.

Coursework for the Finance concentration encompasses asset pricing theory, corporate finance theory, empirical asset pricing and corporate finance, and specialized topics such as derivatives and fintech.

Coursework for the Operations and Supply Chain Management concentration focuses on developing analytical and empirical models to address operational issues of profit, non-profit, and public sector organizations. You’ll learn to address managerial challenges including revenue management, quality management, new product development, technology and innovation management, and environmental performance.

Coursework for the Information Systems concentration emphasizes organizational problems related to designing, building, maintaining, and securing information systems. You’ll learn to solve organizational problems related to interactions among technologies.

Coursework for the Marketing concentration focuses on knowledge related to marketing strategy, consumer behavior, marketing methods, and non-product marketing strategies. You’ll learn to solve organizational problems related to marketing to customers and other stakeholders.

Coursework for the Organizational Behaviorconcentration emphasizes theory related to motivation, decision-making, employee loyalty, leadership, negotiation, and organizational culture. The coursework will allow you to solve people-based problems in organizations, including how to form high-performing teams, motivate people, and manage conflict.

Minor (15 credit hours)

Accepted students must choose a minor area closely related to their concentration which consists of 15 credits of approved coursework.  

Examples of acceptable minor areas include psychology (for students in the Organizational Behavior concentration), industrial engineering, and statistics (for students in the Operations and Supply Chain Management concentration), sociology (for students in the Strategic Management concentration), and economics and computer science (for students in the Information Systems concentration).   

Research Methods (15 credit hours)

Research methods courses are designed to prepare students to evaluate and investigate a range of research approaches including data collection and analysis; data mining and econometrics, and empirical and analytical modeling. All courses must be approved by a faculty advisor.  


Students who have advanced to doctoral candidacy begin working on the dissertational proposal the semester after passing their comprehensive exams.  At the conclusion of the oral defense, the dissertation committee either approves the dissertation or provides written recommendations for improving the proposed research with clearly stated expectations for resubmission.   

Explore Degree Requirements

See courses and electives for the PhD in business program in Mason's University Catalog

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years.  

Meet Your Instructors

George Mason University has been recognized as one of the nation’s top research universities by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, earning the “very high research” (or R1) designation. Our highly acclaimed and well-experienced faculty live, work, and consult in the Washington, D.C., area and draw on their real-world experiences to enrich their mentoring and classroom instruction. 

PhD students should expect to work closely with faculty as they learn the craft of being a highly successful academic. Learn more about our research faculty in each of the four concentrations below. If you have specific questions on research projects and/or faculty availability, please reach out to the faculty member directly. 

Operations and Supply Chain Management

Altug, Mehmet
Associate Professor

Bellos, Ioannis
MBA Program Director
Associate Professor

Das, Sidhartha
Assistant Area Chair

Druehl, Cheryl
Associate Dean for Faculty
Associate Professor

Ren, Hang
Assistant Professor

Information Systems

Bhattacharya, Siddharth
Assistant Professor

Chen, Min
Associate Professor

Dutta, Amitava

Greenwood, Brad
Associate Professor

Hur, Yun Young
Assistant Professor

Karmegam, Sabari Rajan
Assistant Professor

Mehta, Kumar
Associate Professor

Menon, Nirup
Area Chair

Ray, Abhishek
Assistant Professor

Sanyal, Pallab
Area Chair

Yang, Jingyuan
Assistant Professor

Ye, Shun
Assistant Area Chair
Associate Professor


James Harvey
Associate Professor

Jiyeon Hong
Assistant Professor

Jessica Hoppner
Area Chair, Marketing
Associate Professor
Dean's Scholar

Christopher Joiner
Associate Professor

Sharaya Jones
Assistant Professor

Brett Josephson
Associate Dean for Executive Development
Associate Professor

Tarun Kushwaha

Laurie A. Meamber
Associate Professor

Saurabh Mishra

Gautham Vadakkepatt
Associate Professor
Director of the Center for Retail Transformation

Organizational Behavior

Cronin, Matthew A.

Hart, Einav
Assistant Professor

Vough, Heather
Associate Professor
PhD Program Director

Klimoski, Richard J.
Associate Dean for Research

Langfred, Claus
Area Chair
Associate Professor

O'Neill, Olivia (Mandy)
Associate Professor

Rockmann, Kevin

Wittman, Sarah
Assistant Professor

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions, contact us at (703) 993-8006 or 

Is a master's degree required to apply for the PhD program?

No, a master's degree is not required for admission to our PhD in Business program.

To be eligible, you need to have an earned baccalaureate and/or graduate degree from an institution of higher education accredited by a Mason-recognized U.S. institutional accrediting agency, or international equivalent, verified from official transcripts.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The program is designed to be completed in five years by full-time students.  However, each student is unique and some might take a shorter or longer period of time. For those students on stipend, funding is only guaranteed for five years. 

What type of students should apply for this program?

Highly competitive students interested in academic, research-intensive, careers are welcome and will be eligible for competitive stipends and tuition waivers. We also are interested in applications from qualified students with their own sources of funding.   

What is your stipend amount for those students who are eligible?

Our stipend amount for Fall 2022 is 30K/year split between the academic year and the summer. Students on stipend also receive a full tuition waiver. 

Should I contact a GMU faculty member prior to application?

This is not required, but students who indicate their research interests and fit with current faculty are easier to evaluate.   

What are the teaching requirements in the program?

Three courses in five years.

How many students are accepted each year?

Cohorts are expected to be between two to six depending on the available slots that year. 

What can you tell me about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Mason?

Diversity is one of Mason's core values; everyone is welcome here. Mason was recently named the most diverse university in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report. To learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Mason, visit the university's DEI website

What will I learn?

At the end of our program, students will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate the ability to teach college-level courses.  
  • Master the analytical and methodological skills to evaluate and conduct research.  
  • Design and conduct original research.  
  • Communicate the results of their research to academic and practitioner audiences.   
  • Demonstrate an understanding ethical standards in business research, teaching, and service.   

Organizational Behavior Concentration: 

  • Synthesize knowledge of theory associated with psychology and organizational behavior.  
  • Employ survey, experiment, and field methodologies including both quantitative and qualitative approaches.  
  • Design and conduct organizational behavior research.  
  • Teach courses such as organizational behavior, principles of management, leadership, diversity, cross-cultural management, teams, or negotiation.  

Strategic Management Concentration: 

  • Synthesize knowledge of theory associated with strategic management and related disciplines such as sociology and economics.  
  • Employ archival and/or field methodologies.   
  • Design and conduct of strategy research.  
  • Teach courses such as strategic management, organizational theory, international strategy, corporate social responsibility, and entrepreneurship.  

Information Systems Concentration: 

  • Synthesize knowledge of theory associated with management of information systems and related disciplines such as economics and sociology.  
  • Use modeling and/or secondary data analysis and data collection methodologies.   
  • Design and conduct information systems research.  
  • Teach courses such as management of information technology, systems analysis, and design, database management, security, analytics, or programming.  

Operations Management Concentration: 

  • Synthesize knowledge of theory associated with operations management and related disciplines such as economics and industrial engineering.  
  • Employ analytical modeling and/or secondary data analysis and data collection methodologies.  
  • Design and conduct operations management research.  
  • Teach courses such as operations management, supply chain management, logistics, or new product/service development.  

News from the PhD Program